A Successful Summer of CMS Camps

October 1, 2018

Musical Theatre Camp students practicing for main performance

With the weather quickly dropping to colder temperatures, now’s the time to think back to those warm sunny, summer days and the fun that was had at the MSU Community Music School summer camps! This year, we had a total of 400 campers enrolled – a record high! People from all over the Greater Lansing area, and beyond, came to CMS to participate in one of our four music camps: the Eric “RicStar” Winter Music Therapy Camp, Middle School Band Camp, “Time to Shine” Musical Theatre Camp, and Beginning Strings Camp.

A Typical CMS Summer & Some Bragging About This Year's Success

From June through August, CMS is always filled with the sounds of excited campers making music, learning new techniques to further develop their playing or singing skills, building their musical repertoire, and most importantly, having fun! At each camp, students learn from highly-qualified instructors – many of which are current CMS instructors and professional musicians or masters in their craft, as well as MSU students receiving a master’s or doctoral degree in music performance.

This year, the summer began with our most unique, and one-of-a-kind camp: the Eric “RicStar” Winter Music Therapy Camp. RicStar’s Camp honors Eric Winter, a 12-year old CMS music therapy client with cerebral palsy who had a passion for music and a dream of starting a music therapy camp. Shortly after his passing in 2003, Eric’s parents, Dick and Judy Winter, along with Cindy Edgerton, Director of Music Therapy Clinical Services at CMS, made this young boy’s dream a reality and founded the Eric ‘RicStar’ Winter Music Therapy Camp. Having just completed its sixteenth year, this camp has provided over 1,250 individuals of all ages (youth, adolescents, young adults, and adults) with varying levels of special needs, and their siblings, the chance to express themselves through music, have fun, and be celebrated for their abilities! Without a doubt, this camp demonstrates the true power of music.

Watch the RicStar's Camp 2018 feature video.

As with previous years, the Middle School Band Camp continued to bring many young, dedicated, and talented musicians from various schools within the Greater Lansing Area together to focus on building upon their existing musical skills and repertoire through small group, instrument-specific sectionals led by professional musicians and large group performances on the MSU auditorium stage for families and friends.

Watch the Middle School Band Camp 2018 feature video.

The popular ”Time to shine” Musical Theatre Camp offers kids ranging from 2nd through 12th grade to learn various songs from well-known Broadway musicals and use these songs to work on solo and ensemble voice development, choreography, and prop design. The best part, students thrive at this camp because of the welcoming, inclusive, and confidence-building environment created by the camp leaders. After two weeks of hard work, students have a chance to perform on the MSU auditorium stage and experience what it is like to be in an exceptional and impressive Broadway-like show. This past year, we were thrilled to have close to 150 children enrolled for this camp, which is a record high!

Watch the "Time to Shine" Musical Theatre Camp feature video.

The last camp of the summer is typically the Beginning Strings Camp – for children ages 6-12. Beginning strings gives students the chance to gain hands-on experience with the violin, viola, or cello, and provides instruments to all who wish to participate. During the week, students, worked in small groups, receiving more individualized instruction from highly-trained and accomplished CMS string instructors and ended the camp with a showcase performance.

Watch the Beginning Strings feature video.

At the MSU Community Music School, our mission is to provide music education and music therapy to people of all ages and abilities,  and whenever possible, we work to remove the financial burden for those in need. Of the 400 students enrolled in camp this past summer, 66 received financial assistance from CMS, thanks to donors who also believe in making music possible for everyone.

We invite you to view the provided highlight videos created for each camp and see first-hand the memories made during this summer. We thank you for sharing in our summer memories and look forward to telling you more about the great things that are happening at CMS this fall!